These freshly baked Hot Cross Buns are undeniably delicious! Dotted with raisins, these Hot Cross Buns have hints of zesty orange and warm spice flavours. I’m sure if you try this recipe, it will become your go-to for amazing Hot Cross Buns every Easter season!
For the Buns
- ¾ cup Raisins/Mixed fruits
- ½ cup Orange Juice/Grand Marnier/Rum/Brandy
- 1 cup Warm Milk
- 2 ½ tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 4 ⅓ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- ⅓ cup and 1 tbsp White Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
- ¾ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground Cardamom
- ¼ tsp Allspice mix
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp Orange Rind, from Marmalade/Orange Zest
- 7 tbsp/100 g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
For the Cross
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 5 tbsp Water
- Pinch of Salt
- Dash of Vanilla
For Egg Wash
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Heavy Cream/Milk
For the Glaze
- 5 tbsp Marmalade
- 3 tbsp Water
- To the marmalade, add the water and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Give it a mix so that the water and marmalade get well combined. Strain it through a sieve to separate the orange rind from the glaze. Keep both aside separately.
- Place the raisins or other chopped dried fruit in a bowl and pour in the orange juice/Grand Marnier/Rum/Brandy and place in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Keep it aside so that the raisins absorb the liquid, plump up and get infused with the flavor.
- In a separate container, microwave the milk until warm to the touch (about 110F/43C) then stir in 1 tbsp white granulated sugar and yeast. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place till the yeast gets activated and is frothy.
- In another bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, salt, white sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, allspice, and nutmeg. With the paddle attachment on low, give it a stir to combine.
- Once the yeast is activated, add the egg and vanilla to it and whisk it well so that the egg breaks down and they all combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with the mixer on low, mix it till the dough just begins to come together.
- Now replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and add in the butter a little at a time, gradually increase the speed of the mixer to medium to work up the gluten in the dough. Continue to knead the dough for about 8 minutes or until it’s not sticky to the touch. The dough should have a soft and smooth texture and when you form it into a ball and press your finger into it, it should spring back.
- Transfer the dough into a greased bowl and brush a little oil on the surface of the dough to prevent it from drying. Cover it with a plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise till it doubles in size. This should take about two hours. A good place to place the bowl with the dough would be your oven with only the light on.
- Once the dough has risen, transfer it onto a work surface and knock out the air and flatten the dough into a square shape. Drain off the excess liquid from the raisins and sprinkle the raisins all over the flatten dough. Now take one side of the dough and keep rolling the dough till you reach the other end. Flip the rolled dough and roll it in the other direction till you get a doughnut-like shape. Give the dough a light knead to make sure the raisins get evenly distributed.
- Weigh the dough and then divide it into equal small buns of approximately 65 grams each. You can also just eyeball it if you want. The dough should yield about 16 small buns.
- Technique to form the buns: Take one dough portion and flatten it slightly in the palm of your hand. Pinch a bit at the edge (circumference) of the dough and bring it to the centre. Once you have gone around the circumference, pinch the centre and give it a slight twist. Now place the ball pinched side down on an un-floured work surface or the palm of your hand and roll the ball in a circular motion using your thumb and pinky finger as a guide till you form a nice round bun.
- Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 8 on a sheet, allowing for them to rise and expand.
- Apply some oil on a plastic wrap and cover the buns. Return them to the warm place to rise for another one and half to two hours, or till they almost double in size.
- During the last half hour of rising, prepare the egg wash by beating an egg and adding the heavy cream to it, giving it a good whisk. Using a pastry brush, gently brush each bun with the egg wash.
- To prepare the flour paste, whisk the flour, salt, vanilla and water in a bowl until smooth. You are looking for a thicker pipeable paste, so add more flour or water to get the correct consistency.
- Transfer the flour paste into a piping bag and snip off the tip of the bag depending on how thick you want the crosses to be. Pipe the crosses onto each of the buns. You may want to go in one direction at a time till you finish all the buns.
- Bake at 375F/190C for about 20-25 minutes and the buns get a nice golden colour on top.
- Heat the marmalade jam and water mixture again and brush the glaze onto the warm buns.
Enjoy with some jam or a dollop of butter!